The vegan (vee-gun) lifestyle has two components. The first is that a vegan is a vegetarian, meaning, a vegan does not eat meat: beef, poultry, pork, or seafood. In addition to not eating meat, a vegan does not consume other animal products, or bi-products. This includes dairy products, like eggs. So, the word “vegan” describes this specific diet, and the person who follows the diet and lifestyle.
Meat products are typically high in acidity levels and free radicals. These two factors contribute to inflammation in the body, which can manifest in many ways, wreaking havoc on your health and accelerating aging and age-related disease.
Just a few examples of inflammatory diseases:
- skin conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and acne
- gastrointestinal disorders, like gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel disorder, & Crohn’s disease
- various cardiovascular diseases
While these two factors– reducing inflammation and free radicals– are enough of a reason to make the switch to vegan, there are many, many more benefits. Another huge bonus to consuming a more plant-based diet is that you will be consuming more antioxidants than free radicals. Again, lowering the presence of free radicals in your body creates a healthy environment for your organ systems’ functioning, and your overall health and wellness. A huge bonus to increasing your antioxidant levels is the positive effects on aesthetics and the natural anti-aging effects.
Sugar is another ingredient normally avoided by vegans. Complex carbohydrates are generally the preferred energy source among vegans because complex carbohydrates are typically less-processed, contain more fiber, and contain less artificial ingredients and sugars.
Some examples of complex carbohydrates:
- whole grain pasta
- brown rice
Processed foods, regardless of whether or not they have meat in them, can disrupt the healthy bacteria in your gut, increasing inflammation. So, the vegan lifestyle is more than just eliminating animal products. It is also about loving your body and putting the best form of fuel in it. Being a vegan does not mean that you cannot have any sweets. Every vegan probably has a slightly different take on the lifestyle, and have found what works for them. For instance, it is not likely that a vegan will avoid animal products and eat complex carbohydrates so they can eat sugary candies. Because that would totally cancel out the entire point of being a vegan, which is to love and respect your body, show respect for animals and the universe, and to feel good. Becoming a vegan is really the embodiment of the phrase “what you eat is what you are.” There are innumerable reasons why the vegan and plant-based lifestyles are the best choice for your short and long-term health and well-being.